Sunday’s racing tips – 9/4 NAP to return to top form in Prix Rothschild at Deauville

Laurens (near) winning the Prix Saint Alary on French soil last season.

Laurens (near) winning the Prix Saint Alary on French soil last season.

Our expert takes a look through all of Sunday’s races and selects a leading contender in the Group One feature at Deauville as his NAP of the day with Coral.

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2:50pm Deauville Prix Rothschild (Group 1) (3yo+ Fillies & Mares) 1m

Three-year-olds boast a strong recent record in this Group One, winning all of the past three renewals, so it’s no surprise to see Obligate and Qabala sitting near the top of the market. Obligate’s narrow victory in the Prix de Sandringham hasn’t worked out particularly well and I’m not sure Qabala will enjoy the softening ground at Chantilly, so I’m going to look towards the older horses on Sunday.

With You was my winning tip in this race last year and, despite struggling for form since that victory, Freddy Head’s charge could be a decent each-way bet. Duke Of Cambridge Stakes winner, Move Swiftly has to be respected too. Yet, the conditions of Sunday’s race should bring out the best in LAURENS and Karl Burke’s stable star should have enough quality to end her three-race losing streak.

Following a tired effort on her final three-year-old start in the QEII, Laurens made an encouraging return to action in the Lockinge, staying on gamely for second after being passed by impressive winner, Mustashry. Laurens then drifted in the betting ahead of the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot and ran accordingly, fading from a prominent position before crossing the line almost four lengths behind the winners in sixth.

Burke and his team discovered a small problem with their stable star following that defeat, ruling Laurens out of a tilt at the Falmouth Stakes. A part of me felt Laurens might have been retired to stud at that point, but the fact she’s coming out so soon after that setback suggests she’s returned to 100% fitness and her record on French soil is extremely impressive.

Laurens came to Deauville on just her second career-start, losing out to future Group One winner, Polydream in the Prix du Calvados. PJ McDonald’s secured back-to-back victories in France last spring, securing her second top-level honourin the Prix Saint Alary before following up with a superb, battling triumph in the Prix de Diane.

Burke’s four-year-old loves a bit of extra juice in the ground and her winning experience on French soil will be valuable. Obligate and Beshaayir will want to cut out the running too, giving Laurens some much needed company at the front of the field. If PJ McDonald can settle his favourite mount down and latch onto the early pace, then Laurens could have too much quality for her rivals in the closing stages.